Urban Fashion: Urban fashion is used to describe fashion that is worn primarily by African Americans. During the great migration, African Americans populated themselves in cities and 80 percent of the African American population could be found generally in cities along the East Coast region. Today people from all cultures embrace urban fashion which is particularly a mainstream form of street fashion.
These African American women are wearing street fashion clothing. On the right, you have an African American woman dressed in a black bandanna on her hair that is worn in an up style. Her loosely fit white shirt has a painting of a blue fish and her ruffled shorts extend past her thighs. She has smooth legs and is wearing black high heel shoes and carries a stylish pink handbag.
In the vibrant tapestry of American fashion, Urban Fashion emerges as a distinctive and influential genre, tracing its roots to the Great Migration and evolving into a mainstream form of street fashion that transcends cultural boundaries. This unique sartorial expression has its origins deeply embedded in the history and urban landscapes where African Americans found themselves during a transformative period in the nation’s narrative.
The Great Migration and the Birth of Urban Fashion:
As millions of African Americans embarked on the Great Migration during the early to mid-20th century, cities along the East Coast became bustling hubs of cultural convergence. Approximately 80 percent of the African American population found themselves populating urban centers, bringing with them a rich tapestry of traditions, styles, and a unique cultural identity. Urban fashion began to take shape as a visual manifestation of this dynamic and evolving community.
Cultural Significance and Identity Expression:
Urban fashion became a canvas for African Americans to express their identity, resilience, and creativity. Rooted in the cultural experiences of the urban environment, fashion choices reflected the amalgamation of African traditions, experiences of migration, and the vibrant pulse of city life. Bold colors, intricate patterns, and unique accessories became the visual vocabulary through which individuals conveyed their pride and connection to their cultural roots.
Evolving Trends and Mainstream Acceptance:
Over the decades, what began as a cultural expression within African American communities has evolved into a global phenomenon. Urban fashion has transcended racial and cultural lines to become a mainstream form of street fashion embraced by people from all walks of life. The fusion of diverse elements—from music and art to individual style influences—has contributed to the dynamic and ever-changing landscape of urban fashion.
Influence on Street Fashion:
Urban fashion’s impact on street fashion is undeniable. What was once considered a niche style has permeated the mainstream, influencing the wardrobes of people worldwide. The boldness, innovation, and urban flair that characterize this genre have become defining elements in the broader narrative of contemporary street fashion.
Streetwear as Cultural Bridge:
Urban fashion, now often synonymous with streetwear, serves as a cultural bridge connecting diverse communities. The fusion of styles and influences has created a global fashion language that transcends geographical and cultural boundaries. Streetwear brands rooted in urban fashion often collaborate with artists and designers from various backgrounds, fostering a sense of inclusivity and shared creativity.
Challenges and Opportunities:
While the global embrace of urban fashion signifies progress and cultural exchange, it also raises questions about appropriation and the need for respectful engagement. The challenge lies in appreciating the cultural origins of urban fashion without reducing it to a mere trend. By acknowledging the historical context and embracing diversity, the fashion industry can ensure that urban fashion continues to be a dynamic and inclusive force.
This man is wearing a fashionable black sports jacket that has trendy zippers and a snazzy collar. That is the goal of urban fashion… to express style with attitude.
These black men are dressed in corporate attire, however, there is much attitude in their fashion choices. The gentleman at right is wearing a black fedora with sunglasses and a brown scarf over his black blazer jacket, complete with stylish tight black leather gloves. In the middle, you have a creative fashion choice of a pink sweater vest that is complimented by a yellow and black tie with a brown dotted blazer jacket. On the left, this Nubian brother is wearing a checkered blue dress shirt with a patterned blue tie and a silver blazer jacket. All of the men are wearing docker pants and their attitude is omnipresent in this photograph.
This woman looks so cute in her jean short outfit with her jean jacket that has rolled-up sleeves. Underneath her jacket, she wears a flower blouse, but what brings out her outfit, are the laced see-through leggings worn with work boots. Her style has a lot of attitude and it’s a very vibrant and attractive urban outfit.
The black man wearing this urban outfit is sure to make people take note of his style with a white shirt and blue tie, grey blazer with a grey checkered scarf, and black gloves in his hand, complete with navy blue denim jeans and casual leather boots and a brown man purse. Coordinated freshly with his outfit is a burgundy hat. This urban outfit is a winner.
Attitude is sexy. If this is so, how could urban street fashion not be sexy? It’s a way of expressing your mood or even your beliefs. No one can correct street fashion because it’s never wrong. It just is.